Senate

Senate Dem leader: ‘Serious concerns’ with Carson nomination

Victoria Sarno Jordan

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is questioning President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to tap Ben Carson to be his housing chief, arguing Carson’s resume and stances are out of line with the Cabinet post. 

“I have serious concerns about Dr. Carson’s lack of expertise and experience in dealing with housing issues. Someone who is as anti-government as him is a strange fit for Housing secretary, to say the least,” Schumer said in a statement. 
 
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Schumer, who will lead Senate Democrats next year, signaled that his caucus will grill the former neurosurgeon and presidential candidate on his knowledge of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

 
“Americans deserve to know that their potential HUD Secretary is well versed in housing policy and has a vision for federal housing programs that meets the needs of Americans across the country and seeks to provide access to those that we haven’t reached already,” he added. 
 
Trump announced on Monday that he is nominating Carson, an early GOP supporter, to be HUD secretary. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he believed Carson will be a “positive addition” to Trump’s administration. 
 
But Democrats have widely panned the nomination, arguing Carson isn’t experienced enough for the post. 
 
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called Carson a “disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice.”
 
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the top Democrat on the Senate’s Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, said the country “cannot afford a HUD Secretary whose spokesperson said he doesn’t believe he’s up for the job.” 
 
“This appointment raises real questions about how serious he is about actually getting anything done,” Brown said. 
 
Democrats face an uphill battle to block Trump’s nominees. Under their 2013 decision to go “nuclear” on the filibuster, they lowered the threshold for most nominations to a simple majority.
 
Republicans are expected to have 52 seats in the Senate next year, and no Republican has publicly come out against Carson. 
 
Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Sherrod Brown
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